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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 9, 2011 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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american people because they're all relying on the same people for money. >> look, dylan, i'd love to tell you everybody's equally at fault. that's not the case. i know where it started. on the right. >> got it. i know who funded the bank and trade deregulation and is was on the left. i'll talk to you next tyke. i am dylan ratigan and the right's just as bad. this whole stupid back and forth has got to end. with that said, "hardball" an chris matthews starts right now. reprieve. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, make the republicans say no to jobs in their home towns. as if we needed another reason for the president to do something. the dow up 243 at one point today but when the fed anournlgsed economic growth was
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slower than expected, the dow plummeted. then surged sek pack letterly again. the dow ended the day up nearly 430 points, but the up-down day on wall street, how skittish the markets are about the economy 7 that's another reason i say president obama needs to come up with a jobs program. needs to highlight the bridges and roads that need fixing in this country and make republican sas, no, i don't want jobs in nigh district. the question isn't whether president obama should or how. i'm telling him how. show the bridge, the rotten roads, the broken down sewer and water systems. put it in their faces. the question, is when. political fallout. americans are angered at everything from the president on down but voters have thrown out just one party. not both. if there's another wave election next year, who's going to get drowned? plus, is president obama about to run a bush-style swift vote campaign? politico reports that the president's team has decided mr.
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romney's numbers are so weak, mr. obama's numbers are so weak, the only way to win next time, to destroy the likely challenger, who they believe is mitt romney. has hope been changed and replaced by dig up and destroy? and on wisconsin -- in fact, on wisconsin, democrats get their chance to get even with anti-labor republican leader scott walker today. six republicans face recall tonight, and if the democrats can pick up three seats out there out of six, they will regain control of the state senate in wisconsin. this is more than a local fight. this is the first big fight politically of the 012 electoral cycle. on a day president obama was at dover air force base as the bodies of the navy s.e.a.l.s were brought home, let me finish tonight with some big questions about our mission in afghanistan. i can't think of a better time to ask what exactly is it? we start with what the president should be doing about jobs. howard feinman is an msnbc political analyst and a
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huffington post media group editorial director. john heilemann is new york magazine the national political columnist. two heavyweights on. the dow jones industrial rallied today, a two-thirds reprieve, howard. my question is about jobs. it seems to me that the president has a couple things he's got to do to get control of events and not just watch them, which he seems to be doing. one is, get control of the debt debate by talking honestly about what cuts need to be made and what taxes need to be raised. let's move off from that tonight. let's talk about the jobs program he need to push for right now. it seems to me that mainly it's a political challenge for right now to get the attention of the republicans force them to deal with the jobs eschew, force them if necessary to say yes or not to creating jobs in their own districts. history, common sense tells us it's hard for a politician to say no to a job site in his own or her own district. how does he do it, howard? you and i know politics. doesn't the president know politics?
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>> well, i don't think he knows it the way you know it in this context, chris. which is that you've got to be specific. the stimulus package that famously was enacted at the beginning of president obama's term did some good thing, but it was more like spraying water in the desert as opposed to dropping each drop of water on each seed and that's what needs to happen. you can do it the way you're proposing. as a matter of fact, i summarized your proposal and reminded the people at the white house of it, and asked them to take a look and i got the word back from senior white house official who said, well, it would depend on how it's done. and to me that's means that you need to get your action plan over there right now, because -- >> we're on television. >> they weren't dismissing it out of hand. howard, you are my friend and you, too, smiling john heilemann. i do frg above board. don't meet in the the white house, never been there or
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invited. you sgee a district. take the nastiest republican, red dog crazy tea party, fanatic tai party like michele bachmann. look at a bridge in her distribute. take a picture, get the address, show where it needs work a bridge that needs built, she's been through this with the stimulus bill. she'll tell you and already has. will create 3,000 jobs. she's done with the stimulus bill. they all know the bill, fixing bridges, fixing roads, water system, sewage systems create jobs. put it in their face and lift all the challenges in their district, all the particular public works projects that need to be done, not jobs, jobs that need to be filled work that needs to be done safety that needs to be protected. with bridges that are in safety problems right now. take that information to local newspapers, take it to local tv affiliates, blast it all over the place and demand that they vote up or down on it. demand boehner give you a vote. that way you're playing offense not defense. john heilemann, that's how you do it. that's the way we did it in the
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old days. put it in their face and say go ahead vote against it. you foe what they do? they vote for it. that's what usually happens, or pay for it. john heilemann, that's how you get a public works through. not gee wheeze, let's have a stimulus, or means nothing. you show them the school bridge going over in september. how about we make it safe. just a thought. what's your thought. >> chris, first of all, the white house and the president's re-election committee clearly understand they need to do something politically on the jobs front and they tr in fact at the moment as howard indicated trying to figure what that should be's they are going to have 134 sort of the jobs package they'll roll out at some point in the next couple of weebs maybe early in september. i think the problem with your proposal, and this is something i said on the show on friday, waiting for halloween or what? what are they waiting for? >> this is not a president -- this is -- this is not a put it in their faces kind of president. and i -- i see the political
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mileage that you're proposing in the proposal that you're proposing, but it's so counter to the way, to the temperament of barack obama and the way he's governed. put it in their faces? what has barack obama done that in the course of 2 1/2 years? you might argue he should start doing that and they are started to contemplate. the fork in the road, put forth a jobs package with a chance of passing or put forward someone we know won't pass but can score political points with? the second of the options is one basically closer to yours, which is to say, we're going to put this forward. republicans can stonewall, they won't pass it but we'll gain by wage as fight. all i can say is, i said it a second ago, contrary to the way barack obama governed over his entire first term so far. >> and there are people that -- michael smerconish, not full mooners who will see the necessary tiff voting for jobs
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as they seek re-election. that's a thought too. i don't think it's just for show. it's to get it done. the way i look at it. >> a couple things. first of all as a native of pittsburgh, there are 900 bridges about 500 of which need repair, i'm all for it. number one. number two, barack obama as john indicated probably should have spent for time on the chicago board of aldermen than at the university of chicago, that way he would have understood the specifics of this kind of politics as opposed to the abstraction of politics. that's number two. number three, i think john has a very good point which is the latest polls show that the republicans for all the ways they've looked barack obama looked passive and emphasized his passivity as opposed to his in your face nature, the republicans have suffered tremendously in the debt debate, and now is the time for the democrats and for barack obama to take the offensive, because the republicans have been
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weakened enormously in this debate. they really have. >> this is the way i talk about it. john, just to help you understand what i'm talking about, a jobs program that gets passed. because republicans have to turn and vote for it because they have to, you've waged a progressive campaign. not a defensive. look at the latest "new york times" cbs poll too. 62% of americans say the country should now give higher priority to job creation as opposed to 29% who say we should be cutting spending. so at leastaty iney know in the term there's a debt problem. we all do, but right now they believe the current challenge is to create jobs by not avoiding spending money but doing something with the government power, that the government has to do thing. your thoughts? >> chris, one thing they could do, in addition to just amplify your proposal, you know, match every bridge that needs repair up against parts of the tax code that the president thinks desperately need to be changed and that most of the american
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people want to be changed, including at the high end, including hedge fund, including the corporate jets and all the stuff that the president talks about in the abstract, twin it up with whatever projects you're talking about. they have the computer processing power over at the white house. let them do it and show exactly how much revenue we're losing, that could be used to create the jobs you're talking about. >> let me go to the "new york times" and coincides with what i'm saying i believe. it says today, "obama should start making the case that it is foolish to focus the nation's attention solely on debt where the republicans want it and instead shift every available resource towards jobs. if he becomes passionate about the government's ability to think creatively about a turnaround he might spur lawmakers to join with him if he stays locked into the arid agenda of the republicans the economy will remain as dormant at his speech on monday which is just where he rivals hope it
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will be in november 2012." the old argument of politics, john heilemann, if you pick the topic, you win. if you're talking about cutting spending or -- or not raising taxes, you're probably talking republican territory. if you're talking jobs, this should matter to people work and wages, talking democratic territory and probably win the argument. why doesn't he he get into the argument about jobs and away from debt as the "times" suggests? >> chris, i thought he should have been wages this fight from the beginning of the administration, but i think part of the problem from their point of view is twofold. one is, we know, for instance, like on the debt, on the raising of the debt ceiling on that debate we know that the position of the tea party freshmen in the republican party was not popular in the country yet they were still able to basically, take over that debate and able to stop obama from succeeding in getting through the kind of policies that the public favored. so a small group of republicans who are not on the side of the
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public still have the power to control the outcome of the policy. the other biggest problem for the president is that to take the path that you're suggesting would be tantamount to them saying, look, we got it wrong. as recently as six months ago when we put deficit reduction in the middle of this, didn't make the argument six months or 18 months ago, we were just wrong. has we, the policy we pursued for 18 months was the wrong policy. more than that. 2 1/2 years was the prong policy and you know how hard it is for any politician, particularly for a president, to say, guys i was wrong. i need to start from scratch and do something that is in total contradiction to the way i've governed so far. i just think it's going to be very hard to get barack obama to admit that. >> well, it might be hard to get him to admit it, but if he realizes his presidency is at stake he might change his mind and i think he could argue at least attempt to argue that they learn from the first stimulus that it did some good things, but now they're going to take it to a stage two and have it more
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focused. to repeat my analogy, not spraying the hose all over desert. making sure you put a drop on each seed that's required now and that he can talk about. the problem that he's got is that he makes more observations that he does take actions. remember when he said two years ago, the biggest lie in government is shovel ready, because the projects weren't ready. like he was making an observation and to say the other day as he did, we're still a aaa country as though that was somehow reassuring was, again, a monument to passiontivety, not action. >> john to make your point, when the "titanic" was sinking that horrible night that ship went down, a lot of people stayed on the ship, thought was safer on the "titanic" than in the lifeboat. they made amy take. thank you both. hell of a comparison, i know. elections '06, '08 and '10. americans are angry at everyone in office. whenever there's a wave, somebody wib, somebody loses.
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let's talk about that coming election where somebody will lose and somebody will win. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ jack ] what's for breakfast? um... try the number one! [ jack ] yeah, this is pretty good. [ male announcer ] half a day's worth of fiber. fiber one.
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politico reports harry reid has chosen three senate colleagues for the bipartisan super committee tanks a finding additional reductions. patty murray of washington state, montana the mall baucus and john kerry of massachusetts. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell has pretty much promised none of the people he names to that super committee would even consider raising taxes. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] heard this one? listen to this. three out of four americans don't get enough vegetables. so here's five bucks to help you buy v8 juice. five bucks. that's a lot of green.
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are we looking at another wave election where one party gets kicked in the butt and the other one wins? in 2006 democrats won more than 30 house seats and took over the united states senate. wave number one. in 2008, democrats grabbed another 20-plus house seats,
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seven more in the senate and took the white house of course with president obama. wave two. then last year the republicans would be back all the house seats and more and took back half of lost senate seats. wave three. now the republicans and democrats have americans angry at everyone. wave four. who gets burned this time? washington bureau chief susan page and ron reagan. thank you so much for this. looking at the numbers. let's look at biggest number here's. new numbers from the "usa today" gallup poll. asked if registered voters think most members of congress deserve re-election, only 21% said yes. 70% said get rid of them all. when it's your member of congress, here we go again. more slightly forgiving. more than slightly. 54% said their own congressperson deserved re-election. just 34%, about one-third, said that member of congress shouldn't be remembered or
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brought back into office. similar to what we've seen before in wave elections. susan, analyze this. the fact that 54% said i'll keep ply own man or woman, democrat or republican, is not enough to prevent a wave, right? >> no. about where things were in 1994 when we had a big wave. democrat plus the house and senate. about where we in 2006, things went the other way. seems like an okay number. it is in fact a terrible number when it comes to re-election for congress. >> what does this tell you? to ron in a minute. seems to me there's no such thing as both yore your houses. you have to put in, two choice is. which ones does it look like based on your numbers will kick butt? >> this is not something that's clear. this is an opportunity for both parties. >> did you take your pulse? who's getting kicked out? >> people have not decided. people could blame -- >> really? >> republicans have not -- obama
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lost ground in our polling. republicans haven't gained ground. people that like either side. 15 months to the election. one side or the other should be able to make the case it's not our fault, we've got a plan for the future. vote for us. >> ron two ways to look at it. looking to blame exactly, mad at everybody. fingerpointing, fair enough. a big part of politics, the other one is, each party has a chance to prove themselves now. neither one la. neither the president nor his republican inopposition have looked like leaders positively to a better country. that's what i think. >> yeah, i think you're absolutely right and the challenge for barack obama is to actually marry some of the soaring rhetoric to actual policy here. what is he going to do? i mean, we all know what the republicans stand for. characterize whatever you want. deregulate, privatize, reward the rich, small government, lower taxes, big military. come up with short phrases that describe the republican agenda. what does barack obama stand
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for? can you do that with him? i don't think so. i can't. but he's got to -- >> that's why i -- >> if he -- >> that's why to be a little bit of a relentless voice tonight i really think i've figured out what the country wants based upon the polling and shows we've done here. they want jobs. people out of work want to go to work. real jobs, not leaf raking. real physical jobs eight of guys and women out there. waiting in line every time you have a job opening in a big city. there's thousands of people waiting in line, able-bodied people, who want to work that day. >> i don't like your -- >> they just want to see the job. >> i like your plan, chris. not because i think it's going to pass, you don't always win just by getting the bill passed. sometimes you win by laying down a marker for people to see so they know where you stand. >> let's go to the -- when it kim to the president, 47% of
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registered voters said he deserved re-election. not a healthy number. traditionally below 50 you're vulnerable. >> right. holding a core vote. not a bad thing. could be lower. you don't win in a two-way race with 47% of vote. he needs to do better than that to weren't re-election. kind of a magic number on job approval. usually we think it's 50%. george w. bush managed to win a second term with 48% job approval. you need to be a little higher than barack obama has been these last few months, this last year or so if he'll win a second term. >> doesn't seem right to me. the gallup poll shows president obama beat a generic poll. back to what you said, ron a telling critique of the president now. i want limb to succeed, i'm fond of him. they're transparent right now. too much talk, little action. too much academic behavior not
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any of gold old-fashioned democratic politics here. your dad, president reagan i used to say working on the opposition for tip o'neill, i always said every cab driver in washington, every cab driver, regular guy or woman knows where that guy stands. he wants to beat the communist, reduce the size of government by cutting taxes. they all got it. they didn't agree with it in a lot of cases but they got it. >> people come up to me now years later say, you know, i didn't agree with your father on much, but you no what? when he said something you knew he meant it. you knew where he stood. people don't vote for the most reasonable guy in the room. they vote for the guy they respect, or woman, they respect. and you earn respect by taking a stand. by making it clear what you're all about. and -- barack obama just needs to do a better job of that. >> yeah. we had a presidential candidate from illinois many years ago when i was growing up who spoke very well. and lost twice. a smart guy.
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well spoken. anyway, the president's own support at a fund-raiser. to read it, it wasn't taped. the good news, there been enough frustration at washington, sort of reached a fevered pitch last week, now looking at 16 months in which there's going to be a clear contrast and a clear choice. what do you make of that? a great 16 months ahead of us between now and the election because there's a clear contrast? what is this? a dibberation period coming up for the american voter? >> also, as you and ron were saying, is there such a clear statement of principles and plans? >> from him? >> from him for the next 15 months? there isn't now. a long period of time, political landscape could change. he could make his case, but you know we're going to be in a situation where the economy isn't good pt right? even if the economy -- if we don't go into the double dip recession we won't be in a booming recovery. that really increases the need, the imperative for him to say, i have a plan that will help us
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move forward. here's what it is. >> how does the president clarify his position on jobs? ron, last thought? >> by marrying his rhetoric to policies. fine to say we have to focus on job, fine to pivot to jobs as everybody was saying in the last week, what are you going to do about jobs? clear contrast. clear choice. if he doesn't make the choice in the contrast clear the republicans will do it for him, and they'll do it in a way that muddies the water. heed he's got to lay down his principles and marry them to policies. >> i say bring up a jobs program, make the republicans vote against it. i bet you that buckle this time. thank you, susan age and ron reagan. up next, after the all the turmoil on wall street which continued today, is it time for panic? steve colbert is funny if you want comic relief from a difficult week on wall street which we've all had. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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back to "hardball" now for the "sideshow." first up, leave it 20 steve co-beco co-bear to put a citizen on the downgrade. watch as he prepare for the consequences. >> folks it is nothing to worry about. on wall street, cooler heads always prevail. >> you can see the dow jones industrial down almost 300 points. >> we down more than 4 hrn. >> the dow is now down 500 points. >> down nearly 600 points. >> it's down 631 points. wall street spending in another day what's described as freak-out mode. >> don't panic! everything's fine. i'm just -- i'm just down here looking for my emergency hobo satchel.
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>> okay. now, remember, folks, just remember, oh -- just remember -- over the long term stocks always increase in value. okay? this is just a temporary correction. okay? there is no need to lose confidence in the system. okay. and, yes, yes, perhaps -- perhaps we're experiencing a wee bit of a contraction here, but do not pull your money out of the stock market just yet. >> like finding the captain of a ship li hiding in a lifeboat. it might make chris christie reconsider. written a poem to entice certain non-candidates into ent, the gop presidential race. it's entitled "to our non-coy candidates." it reads in part, now do step forward while you may no longer dither and delay but moneyfully embrace your fate and boldly be
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a candidate. well, the full title of the pom reez for paul ryan, marco rubio, jeb bush and others, attributed i believe to say how badded current list of candidates happens to be. up next, democrats in is wisconsin looking to blacken of eye of governor scott walker tonight. six senators face recall challenges tonight. if the democrats can win just three of those six races, they will win control of the state senate and make their case. this election could tell us a lot about which wage the wind's blowing for next year. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
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rip roaring rally late in the session. the dow jones industrial spin through a 640 point range 0 finish 429 points in the green. the s&p 500 surging 53 points and incredibly heavy trading the xxxvii nasdaq 124 points. the dow regained its footing late this afternoon after wild gyration following the federal reserve assessment of the economy. not a lot of substance in that fed statement today. the economic is weaker than expected and pledged to keep interest rates exceptionally low through 2013 with no hint of another round of stimulus. yields plunged in the wake of that report, then rebounded along with stock. cap it with earnings. disney added to gains on better than expected sales ap profits after the closing bell. that's it for cnbc, first if in business worldwide. back over to "hardball" now.
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welcome back to "hardball." today is, of course a day for a lot of democrats across the country waiting for this recall election out in wisconsin where six republican state senators staged recall a defeat. if the democrats can win back three of those seats out of those six they're going to take control of the state senate out there in madison and be in a position to reverse governor scott walker's anti-union agenda. more than a prock all-race. everybody's watching wisconsin, the first fight of the 201 12 election cycle. joining us, an expert and advocate pap guy who care a lot about the working people, et shult ed schultz. is this going down in history books of the labor union? laborers had a hard fight over the last 30, 40 years, high-tech scab organizations and not doing
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as well in the '30s, last big economic test. what's this going to say about history? what's this going to be, this fight tonight? >> i think it's a battleground zero, chris, for labor unions in this country and the ground game that's been put together here in wisconsin, i mean, if they can't do it here, where are they going to do it? it's almost as if the unions come in from all over the country if we can't win wisconsin how influential are we going to do be? this is very important to them, for the teachers, the firefighters, the law enforcement official, the librarians, city workers, across the board. this is a statement about the middle class. that's what this election is all about and a referendum on the governor but also a referendum on just how important the issues are to the middle class in this country, and i think it's going have is a big affect on other states as well. this is the eye of the storm for the fight of the country when it comes to the middle class of this country. no doubt about it. >> let's look at the six republican state senators trying to hold on out there.
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hold on to their seats. the six democrats reportedly feel good about theirs chances in two of those six races. two others seem to have a good chance. two are safe. how do you call it right now, this time of night? early in the evening before we get the returns in? >> well, i'll tell you, chris, the intangible here in the turnout. i mean, there's been no question about it, it's at presidential levels in some of these districts. enthusiasm is high. i just talked to john ush. bach, the state nart who says we got the ground game. they got the money. nobody knows how to read the presidential turnout. they're excited but not sure what that means. the crown jewel race to watch is in suburban milwaukee. alberta darling, the close correspondent to governor scott walker is the one that was very instrumental in writing the collective, anti-collective bargaining bill, and sandy pash
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has put on a great fight against her. darling knows she's in a fight. that's why $8 million was poured into that district to support alberta darling and she's kind of like sharon engle, if we could go back to those days in nevada. alberta darling says anything. says, hey, we're not making kutsds r cuts in education. what? you cut almost $1 billion in education. you know, chris, wisconsin's got everything. they cut corporate taxes. unemployment, in fact harks gone up a little bit under stot walker. cut the personal income taxes at the top levels that governor doyle used to have, brought that back. it hasn't sdun anything. they've cut the investment and it's hurt a lot of people, and people are riled up here, and i think it's going to be a big night for the democrats. i think they're going to get those three seats, possibly four. >> okay. that's what it's about. you have to win three out of six, they win control of the state senate, make this case. ed schultz, you're a big part of
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that fight. good luck pep "the ed show" is on tonight. we'll learn a lot more, results in perhaps by then. and sandy, the wisconsin state assemblywoman and the democratic challenger of that hot shot alberta darling association close to the governor. you're laughing because you know the whole story out there. are you going to win tonight? >> i'm feeling really, really positive. i just came from the headquarters about the energy, the number of volunteers we have is unbelievable. over 1,000 people in the last few days. >> give me your pitch as you go around meeting people in the street. you got 30 seconds. i'm beginning to talk like ed schultz now. 30 seconds on the corner, want to win them over what's your pitch to vote for you not the governor's state senator? >> i'm new in politics. i've only been in office for a little over a term and came from 30 years of health care being a nurse, and i ran for office because i cared about the issues that matter to people and that's
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why i'm doing this again. >> what's at stape stake tonight? >> ed -- what's at stake is education. what's at stake is working families, the middle class. the health of our local communities. safety. it's -- a vision of wisconsin that we have really seemed destroyed in the last few months in that people are eager to reverse and get back on track. >> why is it important for the young voter out in that's 18, man or woman, never been through all of these fights, in all of this stuff, wagner act, in don't know that history. most people are yuck. what's important to collectively bargain, organize a union and have collective strength? why is that important to a middle class person? >> i've been telling a lot of people, our state is stronger and every organization is stronger when we have many voices at the table. just because you don't agree doesn't me they don't have a right to be there. if they want to have good education, we need to bring in the best and brightest.
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we need have the best and brightest in education and what we've seen in the last few months is an assault on teachers and an assault on social worse workers and so many public workers. people need to understand that that's our middle class. that's -- those are the people who do so much for us, we need to value them. >> and i liked it when they went in and first thing, go after teachers, firefighters. seemed to me, why do they go after you folks right away? why the teach firefighters, nurses? why are they the targets of these republican governors? what's that about? why you three? >> you know, yeah. i mean, it just seems that it's hitting worker against worker saying one worker has taken everything away. we haven't taken it away from them yet. let's go after them. a very mean-spirited way to try to grow jobs and the economy, what they ran on. i don't think that's been their agenda at all. so extreme what they've been doing since january they lost sight of what we need to do in our state. what we need to do across the country.
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>> well, you look like a nice person to me. hope you do well. it's up to the voters, not to me. thanks for coming on "hardball." up next, is president obama about to run a bush-style swift vote campaign against his opponent, thinking it's romney? is this getting real personal, real soon. yes. politico reports they're taking a page from george w. bush's 2004 playbook zeroing in on mitt romney hoping to land a knockout punch before the fight gets going. this is "hardball" and that's hardball, on msnbc. v8 v-fusion juice gives them a full serving of vegetables plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. [ male announcer ] get five dollars in money-saving coupons at
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companies and eliminating jobs. romney's camp fired back saying it is disgraceful president obama launched his campaign with a stapted goal to kill his opponent with an onslaught. president obama will say and do desperate things to hold on to power because he knows he has failed. joining me, david, thank for joining us and steve, always -- pretty good reporting by politico. talked to a dozen people in the obama inner circle who say mitt romney is weird. why that word, weird? >> well, it's pseudoto the whole mormonism issue. that's clear. i'm surprised they're bricking it in early but kraeting a narrative early enough for romney to get pegged this way. we knew it would happen if
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romney was the nominee. surprising it happened so quickly. >> this idea of targeting early. an ole california thing. run the negatives in the summer, but this is the summer before. >> looking at challenging numbers, to try to define their opponent or likely opponent before the opponent gets to define themselves. something governors do, senators do. something bill clinton did -- >> what's the vulnerability? mitt romney looks like a president, the chin, family name, six kids that all look the same and look great. not knocking him, but what's the clever knock against him now? >> the clev knock. >> he's not comfortable in his own skin. >> he's a mormon. >> what's weird mean? >> it probably means different things to different people. >> what do you think they want it to mean? >> not to necessarily mean anything other than what they say. a christian conservative it means mormon. and to a working person, it means somebody who jokes about being unemployed when they're a
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multi-millionaire running for the president of the united states. top somebody else, a different thing. mitt romney's been a lot of different thing to a lot of people but he's hollowed out his core. i don't think >> well, i don't know about that. i think what you'll see is weird will morph into something more desperate for the obama campaign for july, september, whatever it happens to be for 2012. i don't think there's any question we're going to start to see leak, whether on background, deep background, whether it's dnc memos or whatever, but we're going to see something along the lines of more specific examples of this weirdness that they're talking about generically. >> i think it's a fascinating thing, with dukakis, they made him into a foreigners, lieu his's not assimilated, made him unpatriotic. with john kerry, they turned him into a guy that retreated from the face of the enemy, a
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conveysi traitor, horrible things they said, but weird is interesting. weird does play on some of his vulnerabilities. he's incredibly formal in his behavior publicly. he does seem artificial in the way he presents hisself. >> he irons his jeans. >> he puts his dog on the roof of the quarter when he goes to quebec. >> here as the tangible issue. it was a real concern in 2008 that he has a hard time connecting personally to voters. >> how do you turn it into a negative? a lot of people can't connect, but it's not frightening. >> i'm not convinced this mormon card, this weird card, if you will, will be all that advantageous for the obama campaign. >> why do they think it will be? that's what i want to know. >> a weird card is different from mormon. >> but you know what you're playing. >> no, no, no, the obama campaign is not going to engage on mormonism, but that
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engagement will probably occur in south carolina, people like rick perry, like michele bachmann, the fundamentalist crist cran community, who believes mormonism -- fundamentalist christians -- >> i think he might say -- we'll let him answer that question. >> but i'm talking about the faith generally, not mitt romney. >> 2012 is different from 2008. in 2008 he had to go through this with abortion and marriage. 2012, been there, done that, now evangelical christians are looking at the dead as a moral issue, but know it's a tier a issue. >> let's look at they awkward moments that could be construed as weird. >> let's look at a few examples of what people might consider as awkward behavior by candidate
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romney. >> okay. right in the middle. ah, come on in, much closer, much -- oh, goodness grash. who has the camera, though? who let the dogs out, who, who? thanks, guys. >> where are you on global warming? >> it's not too hot in here this evening, so this is encouraging. i did write a book, and you're saying it was good? i appreciate that. >> it was great. >> pardon? it was great. thank you, dad -- no, i'm kidding, i'm kidding. i'm your age, so i can't get away with that. >> yeah, i guess weird is not the right word for me. give it your word. >> awkward. >> almost old school. >> sort of like -- somebody said you have to be a regular guy and the thing is he doesn't know how to be a regular guy. he tries the jokes and they fall flat.
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>> i think they're playing with fire here. >> so he's not jon stewart, but look, at the same time if he can make the case that he can create jobs -- let me say one last thing -- >> we're out of time. >> it could backfire. >> it does show they're afraid of him. they want to run against rick perry or michele bachmann. david brody, you are hiding out on me on this one. you know what weird means. let's finish with big questions about afghanistan. and we're are we fighting there? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. run more smoothly by helping remove deposits and cleaning up intake valves. so when you fill up at an exxon or mobil station, you can rest assured we help your engine run more smoothly while leaving behind cleaner emissions. it's how we make gasoline work harder for you.
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let me finish tonight with this war in afghanistan. the president went through dover, delaware to the air force base to pay his respect to the 30 service members killed when their helicopter was shot down this weekend in afghanistan. i think now we need to ask a basic question about our mission over there -- what is it? if it's to fight the taliban, that leads to two other questions. first -- why are we fighting them? it's their country, not ours. why are we in their country fighting people who want to run their country? do we have more right to say who runs the country than the people who live there? who says we get to decide we get, who says it's our country to call the shots in? second question -- how do we defeat the taliban? presumably the day will come when we leave and they stay. if we're gone and they're still there, won't they be able to take over?
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if we're leaving in 5 years or 10 years or 20 years, won't they still be there? won't they still be fighting? those two questions are really important to answer. we just lost all those good, brave and patriotic men. they were out there on the front line doing the tough fighting against the taliban, fighting the insurgents, fighting on one side of an afghan war that began long before we got there and will be going on when we leave. if the goal is to fight terrorists, on the other hand, operating in that country against us, buy don't we do that? why are we fighting in their civil war over there? i know it's hard for any president, especially a democrat, to pull out of the war zone, but if the chief reason we're staying there is to avoid the criticism for leaving, it's surely time to leave. i don't know of many americans that think this ward is heading for victory. the reason this war has gone on is we have first-rate highly disciplined troops in the american military. they do what they're told to do. all the more reason we should have a


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